Information for current and past JRAs

Current undergraduate researchers can use this site to keep up-to-date with upcoming events throughout the summer vacation as well as access useful information on claiming expenses and designing an academic poster. Past undergraduate researchers can learn about additional opportunities to promote their research further afield.

Congratulations on receiving your JRA award. The Doctoral School aims to provide you with the information that you need over the course of your 8-week projects and beyond. You can use this site to access information about upcoming training, social events and to learn about opportunities available to you after you completed your projects. We will also send you regular updates to your Sussex email address, which we ask you to check regularly.

This site also provides you with practical guidance on money issues and advice on designing an academic poster.


All JRAs are invited to participate in various training activities as well as social events, including a BBQ and Quiz which take place on 14 July 2017. We encourage you to attend all the events. Some activities are compulsory. You can view a list of events for summer 2017 below but be aware that these are subject to change. You will receive regular e-mails about upcoming events.

         Date                                                         Event                                                   Location      
 19 June, 1:30- 3:00 pm   JRA Official Launch   Quiet Room, Meeting House
 Early-July   Induction to research workshop  TBC
 14 July   BBQ incl. "research speed dating" and  Pub Quiz  TBC
 Mid-July   Poster Workshop for Social Sciences and Arts & Hum subjects  TBC
 Mid-July   Poster Workshop for Science subject  TBC
 Late-July   PowerPoint and How to Present an academic poster workshop  TBC
 W/C 14 Aug   Introduction to PG Study  TBC


Expenses and bursary

Every JRA award holder receives a bursary of £1800 for the duration of their 8-week projects. The bursary is paid in two instalments of £800. First instalment is paid at the start of the projects. Second instalment is released after 4 weeks and is dependent on a satisfactory progress report from the supervisor.

First payment will reach your account on Monay, 19th June 2017.

Payments are made via BACS. It is the award holder's responsibility that their bank account details are up-to-date on Sussex Direct.

Additionally, you are entitled to £200 to help you cover any research related costs such as:

  • lab equipment
  • participation payments
  • software
  • conference fees
  • printing costs (excluding your academic poster as this cost will be covered by the university)
  • accommodation and travel to conduct fieldwork

Unfortunately, travel costs to and from the University during the 8-week projects will not be reimbursed. If you are unsure about what you can claim contact Dean Brooks in the Doctoral School (

If you are a science student funds to cover consumables are normally transferred into your supervisor's research account.

You claim research related costs using the Student Expense Form. You must attach all receipts with your claim. The form must be signed and the original copy either sent or brought to:

Dean Brooks, Doctoral School, Falmer House (entrance opposite Mandela Hall), BN1 9QF.

Payments can take up to two weeks to process.

Academic Poster

Do I have to submit a poster and why?

All JRAs are required to submit an A1 academic poster (must be a Portrait layout). This is stated in the Terms and Conditions of the award which you and your supervisor signed when accepting the bursary.

Posters are a very common way used by researchers, especially among the PhD community, to communicate in a quick and accessible way the key findings of their research. The idea is that you will gain some experience in presenting your findings to a wider audience and get invaluable practice in designing a research poster. All posters will be displayed at the annual Undergraduate Research Poster Exhibition which is attended by students, faculty and staff.

I have never designed an academic poster before. Will I get any support?

Yes. The Doctoral School organises workshops on how to create a research poster. You will be e-mailed with dates for the workshops but you can also look at this site for a list of events. We strongly recommend that you attend the sessions. However, if you are unable to come you can download the Academic Poster Guidelines [DOCX 18.36KB] to help you through the process.

Additionally, you can have a look at some examples of previous posters to give you an idea of what is expected:

1st Prize JRA Poster 2016 (example) [PDF 1004.23KB] - "Researching Alzheimer's the risk gene, APOE, Using the CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Editing System" by Robert Tempelaar, Medical Neuroscience

1st Prize SURA Poster 2016 (example) [PDF 772.76KB] - "Synthesis of Isocoumarin Ant Train Pheromones" by Arathy Jose, Chemistry

Arts and Humanities JRA Poster (example) [PDF 71.25MB] - "Augmenting Physical Objects with Musical Algorithms and Robotic Control" by Alex Jacobs, Music Technology

Social Science JRA Poster (example) [PDF 5.12MB] - "Women's Ministerial Representation- Rules of Ministerial Recruitment in Sweden" by Frida Gustafson, Politics

If you would like to see more examples you can contact Dean Brooks at

When do I have to submit the poster?

The deadline to submit the poster is 18 September 2017. The projects finish on 1 September 2017 which means you will have additional two weeks to work on your poster.

How do I submit the poster?

We only require a PDF version of your poster which can be send as an e-mail attachment or via WeTransfer if size of the file is large. Posters must be sent to Dean Brooks (

The Doctoral School will print the posters for you and will ensure they are displayed during the exhibition.

What is the annual Undergraduate Research Poster Exhibition?

Every year the Doctoral School organises the annual Undergraduate Research Poster Exhibition in the autumn term where JRAs display their academic posters. It is a chance to celebrate the completion of your projects and to talk about your research to a wider audience. The exhibition is attended by students, faculty and members of staff. The date of the exhibition will be announced later in the year.

The exhibition is also a competition! A judging panel comprised of faculty members and led by the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) Prof Michael Davies will select best posters to compete in the final. The finalists will then be interviewed by the panel about their research. The winners will be announced on the day. Additionally, the JRA poster competition first and runner-up prize winners will be invited to represent the University of Sussex at the Posters in Parliament - an event that brings together the best undergraduate research from across the country.


Your experience of presenting research does not have to end after you completed your projects. There are many opportunities available to network with external undergraduate researchers, practise your presentation skills and promote your research findings beyond Sussex.

British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR)

University of Sussex is proud to be part of the steering group for the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR). The Conference takes place every Spring. Undergraduate researchers from across the country submit abstracts which are then peer-reviewed and those accepted will be invited to attend BCUR. Last year 17 Sussex JRAs attended the conference. The Doctoral School offers either partial or full (depending on the budget) financial support to those invited to participate in BCUR. For more information about the Conference visit:

International Conference of Undergraduate Research (ICUR)

ICUR is an initiative that gives undergraduates a meaningful global experience without leaving their home campus. This is an opportunity to present your research an international context. You would present to an international audience through a video conference connecting with students all over the world. Students can participate in this initiative in many ways - as presenters (both spoken and poster presentations), volunteers, chairs or audience members. ICUR is a unique opportunity to network with peers around the world without the hassle of traveling. More information can be found in the ICUR Brochure 2016 [PDF 1016.73KB]

Undergraduate Journals

Students undertaking high quality research have the opportunity to publish their work in peer-reviewed journals. Ambitious undergraduates who seriously consider doing a post-graduate degree can take first steps in building an academic portfolio by writing a paper and having it published in a recognised undergraduate journal. You can view a list of UK undergraduate journals on the BCUR website:



‘What to do next?‘ is a question that nearly all final year undergraduates face. To answer this you have to know what you want and don’t want, and if you do know what you want, usually, you are up against a few hundred fellow undergraduates. I really enjoyed being in the lab and feeling that I was part of ‘real’ research during the 8 weeks. This experience gave my CV an important competitive edge and it confirmed that I would pursue a research career. I also feel it helped prepare me for my dissertation project. I feel I have something that many other undergraduates don’t have and that gives me confidence in facing ‘after graduate life’.  Robert Tempelaar, Medical Neuroscience JRA 2016